TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Typical Integration
- Common Inventory Tracking Methods
- Adjust vs Set Operation
- Inventory Discrepancy Report
- Areas Matching Locations in Host
- Moves and PO Putaways
- Hold Locations
- Reason Codes
Pushing inventory adjustments from WOS to a Host is a basic integration that is included in most projects. The process is represented by the flows below.
Inventory between WOS and a Host system is almost never "synced". Syncing inventory implies a process that ensures both systems have the same total quantity. Systems track inventory differently, so syncing inventory often results in errors and overselling. Instead, the typical inventory integration "syncs transactions". As Puts, Pulls, or Cycle Counts are performed in WOS and inventory is adjusted, the delta quantities are pushed to the host system.
Common Inventory Tracking Methods
The following a list of common approaches for tracking inventory in a system. Each system might use different terminology for each method.
- OnHand Inventory
- System tracks how much inventory is physically on hand. Inventory that has been picked is removed.
- This is how WOS tracks inventory. When Orders are picked, inventory is removed.
- Available Inventory
- System tracks how much inventory is available to be sold. As Orders are placed, inventory is immediately decremented
- To compare inventory, WOS must have the complete list of open orders to calculate an accurate Available Inventory
- This is typical of Ecommerce systems
- Fulfilled Inventory
- System removes inventory once the Order has been marked as shipped. Inventory remains on hand until the fulfillment is marked as shipped.
- To compare inventory, WOS must consider the inventory that has been picked but not yet fulfilled in the Host.
- This is typical of ERP systems
Adjust vs Set Operation
WOS Integrations make a distinction between an Adjust or a Set operation
- Adjust operations use a delta quantity to add or subtract the transaction amount from the Host system's inventory
- Set operations use the new quantity after the transaction is performed. The Host system is set to match that number
WOS rarely uses the Set operation. Inventory can be stored in multiple locations, therefore even a single Cycle Count transaction doesn't have a view of the global inventory numbers in Order to perform a valid Set operation.
Inventory Discrepancy Report
WOS doesn't intend to sync inventory or perform a set operation, instead, an Inventory Discrepancy report is provided to watch and find issues with inventory quantities in the two systems. A nightly snapshot is taken out of both WOS and the Host system. The report compares those numbers and shows the items that have a discrepancy. It's important to understand and get the right tracking method to make sure the comparison is using all the necessary data to get an accurate comparison.
Warehouse vs Bin Inventory Integration
Some Host Systems have the ability to track inventory at the bin level. WOS does not recommend this level of integration. This requires that every move, pick, adjustment be synced back to the Host to keep all of the bins in sync.
Instead, WOS recommends keeping the inventory in the Host system at a global level. This means movements within the warehouse don't need to be synced and only adjustments to the global number needs to be communicated.
For example, if WOS shows there are 10 locations with 10 qty each of the same item, the Host system would show that there is 100 available without knowledge of which locations hold that inventory.
Areas Matching Locations in Host
If the Host system can store inventory in multiple locations, WOS can be configured with areas to match. Adjustments in WOS can determine which location in the Host system needs to be adjusted based on the Area. The integration can recognize that inventory was moved between Areas and push those adjustments to the various locations up to the Host system as either a transfer or multiple adjustments.
Moves and PO Putaways
Depending on the Host system, Moves and PO Putaways can take multiple approaches of integration.
If the Host system has documents like Purchase Orders or Transfers, then PO Putaways or Moves are structured to behave like a document. Putaways are pushed to the Host as a receipt against the related PO. Moves can create a transfer between two areas/locations/warehouses, assuming both areas are tracked in WOS.
If the Host system doesn't have those documents, PO Putaways or Moves are structured to be have like adjustments against inventory. This is common among Ecommerce systems that just store an available quantity.
Moves into Hold locations within WOS can be recognized in the integration. Inventory would be adjusted to remove or add inventory in the Host system based on whether it's being added or removed into a Hold location.
This requires a move transaction in WOS. Changing the location type does not trigger a transaction that can be synced.
WOS has the ability to apply reason codes when Puts, Pulls, or Moves are performed. The integration can keep a list of Reason Codes to perform specific actions against them. A couple examples are below.
- Adjustments in WOS can be ignored so that WOS inventory can be changed but not communicate those changes to the Host system
- GL Accounts can be applied per reason code